Anime Expo 2012
Viz Media - Neon Alley

by Bamboo Dong,

Panelists: Candice Uyloan, Brian Ige

Viz Media hosted a panel early Friday afternoon to talk about their new project, Neon Alley, a 24-hour programmed channel that will primarily feature anime, dubbed and uncut. Panelists Candice Uyloan, Director of Marketing and Digital Publishing at Viz, and Brian Ige, Vice President of Animation at Viz talked at length about what fans could expect from the service, as well as some of the motivations behind its creation.

Neon Alley will be available on televisions via a major game console, although they are not yet able to announce which console it is. The Neon Alley service will allow the delivery of English-dubbed, uncut anime, as well as some interstitial content like OVAs, music videos, behind-the-scenes programs, news, and live-action martial arts films. The latter will be provided through a partnership with Tai Seng, a distributor of martial arts and Hong Kong films, which will allow fans to see 70s and 80s martial arts films with their original English dubs.

Through a partnership with Anime News Network, Neon Alley will also provide fans with factoids and tidbits about the anime that is being broadcast, as well as top ten lists and other relevant content. ANN will also host the Neon Alley forums, providing a community for service subscribers to congregate and provide feedback.

Other announced partnerships include Aniplex USA, who will provide Blue Exorcist, also dubbed and uncut. Later in the Q&A portion of the panel, Ige also mentioned that they were in open talks with other studios, including Warner Bros and even other anime distributors like Funimation. The panelists reiterated several times during the hour that Neon Alley is going to be a multi-studio initiative, and more partners will be announced in the following weeks.

Similar to a traditional broadcast, episodes from the various series will be released on a weekly basis. The service will cost $6.99 per month, and will be supplemented with limited advertising. During the sizzle reel, Viz showed clips from some of the titles that will be airing, including Berserk, Zetman, Bleach, Death Note, and others.

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